North West Neuromuscular Network receives network of excellence recognition

Published Date
Alexa Follen
Bridging the Gap

Last week Muscular Dystrophy UK chief executive, Robert Meadowcroft, visited the North West Adult and Paediatric Neuromuscular Network in Warrington to formally recognise it as a Network of Excellence for patients with neuromuscular conditions.

This award comes after Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Services Development Committee conducted the first ever national audit of neuromuscular networks in the UK last year.

The audit involved an assessment of neuromuscular networks against a set of criteria by a panel of experts led by Professor Martin Bobrow, an eminent geneticist, former Chairman of Muscular Dystrophy UK (1995-2010) and Honorary Life President. In order to receive Network of Excellence status, the networks were expected to show an extremely high standard of collaborative working and comprehensive outreach and training programmes.

There were three networks which were able to meet all of the required audit criteria; the South West Neuromuscular Operational Delivery Network (SWNODN), the Scottish Muscle Network and the North West Neuromuscular Network.

While in Warrington, Robert Meadowcroft spoke to the neuromuscular specialists across the region about the excellent work they do in the community as well as in their own specialist centres.

Dr Stefan Spinty, the network’s Clinical Lead and Consultant Neurologist, said:

“I am delighted that the Northwest Adult and Paediatric Neuromuscular Network has been recognised as a Network of Excellence. Founded more than ten years ago, the network has brought together multidisciplinary healthcare professionals involved in the care of and individuals affected by neuromuscular disorders, charities and commissioners. Educational events throughout the network over the years have been increasingly well attended leading to significantly increased awareness about neuromuscular conditions, their presentation, diagnosis and modern treatments. The North West Neuromuscular Network will continue to work together to further improve neuromuscular service provision in the North West. On behalf of the network we would like to thank Muscular Dystrophy UK for their ongoing support.”

Robert Meadowcroft, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK said:

“The North West is well deserving of becoming a Network of Excellence. The 8,000 people in the North West living with muscle-wasting conditions have specialist needs and the NHS staff working with them need to be fully up to speed on how best to support them. The network’s excellent knowledge-sharing approaches provide a model for other areas as they have put neuromuscular care on the health agenda in the North West.

“The right specialist care helps people to lead longer and less stressful lives, which is fantastic for both patients and the NHS. The network has rapidly become invaluable in providing the services and information that people need. We warmly congratulate the excellent team for delivering such high standards and expertise, and look forward to seeing what improvements to care it cultivates next.”

In addition to the three networks awarded, there are 10 neuromuscular services recognised as centres of excellence who provide the highest quality care to their patients.

The Muscular Dystrophy UK Outreach, Commissioning and Professional Development Team continues to work closely with neuromuscular teams and networks across the country to secure increased support for families and individuals living with muscle-wasting conditions. Since 2013 we have helped secure more than £4.5 million of new NHS investment in neuromuscular services across the UK.

Our next audit for Networks and Centres of Excellence is due to take place in 2018 when we hope to see further neuromuscular centres and networks recognised.

If you would like more information about the Networks of Excellence audit please get in touch with Hannah Chalmers at or on 020 7803 4826.


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